We are an international literary society devoted to the 20th century English novelist Barbara Pym, shrewd observer of a certain kind of middle-class Englishwoman, no longer young and not quite beautiful, whom society finds it easy to overlook. She is just as shrewd an observer of the people that these women, vigilant and perceptive, themselves observe.

The spinster heroine of Excellent Women, Pym’s most famous novel, says, “I suppose an unmarried woman just over 30, who lives alone and has no apparent ties, must expect to find herself involved or interested in other people’s business, and if she is a clergyman’s daughter then one might really say that there is no hope for her.”

The Society holds its Annual General Meeting at St. Hilda's College, Oxford University, every summer and also holds a conference in Boston, MA every spring, a spring meeting in London, and other events. Our newsletter, Green Leaves, is published twice yearly.


2024 Annual General Meeting & Conference
'So Very Secret': Barbara Pym and Her Society at 30

30 August - 1 September 2024
St Hilda's College, Oxford


2025 North American Conference
A Few Green Leaves

21-23 March 2025
Cambridge, MA


2025 Ellen J. Miller
Short Story Competition

Submission deadline 29 November 2024